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News from the week of March 8, 2000Headlight Herald - Serving Tracy, Minnesota, since 1880


New hospital CEO is busy meeting people

Not surprisingly, Dan Reiner was busy meeting people Monday in his first day as Chief Executive Officer and administrator for Tracy Area Medical Services and the Westbrook Health Center.

"It's good to be here," said Reiner, a native of the Springfield area. The 1972 Morgan High School graduate comes to the Tri-County area from Missoula, Montana. His last two positions have been as a vice president at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, and as administrator of a hospital and clinic in Salmon, Idaho.

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The new administrator cited three factors in his decision to accept the Tracy/Westbrook position.

One reason, is the opportunity to be closer to family members who still live in the Springfield-Sleepy Eye area. (Reiner is the son of Ed and Marge Reiner of Springfield).

Another factor, he said, is his interest and commitment to quality rural health care. The third attraction, he said, was the opportunity to be part of a top regional health network like Sioux Valley.

Lake area sewer project doesn't get grant funding

• Hopes continue for future money

A proposed sanitary sewer project for the Lake Shetek and Sarah areas has come up empty handed in a state grant funding application. But project advocates haven't given up hope.

Tom Kresco, Murray County water resources director, said it's still possible that the lakes sewer project could get grant money from either special legislation or funds unused by other communities.

"We're waiting," said Kresco.

The Shetek Area Water and Sewer Commission (SAWSC) applied for grant funding last fall through state and federal programs administered by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. However, SAWSC has been notified that its project does not rank high enough (72nd out of 300 applications) to qualify for funding in this round of the grant funding cycle. Thirty-three projects received funding.

150 costumes?

Magic of wizard needed to create garb for 75 characters

Raucous crows, masked monkeys, even poppies and trees will come to life when the community children's choir stages The Wizard of Oz on April 14, 15 and 16 in the Tracy Area High School auditorium.

Director of the 75-member choir is Ade Miller. Assisting her is Jeff James. The spring production is the second major effort by the group. Last spring the choir staged Annie, Jr.

Unlike many shows where costumes can be adapted from ordinary clothing found in closets and thrift shops, Oz, say the show's directors, presents costuming challenges. With the exception of Dorothy and her fellow Kansans, the characters are, after all, residents of a fantasy land.

A small army of volunteer seamstresses is at work creating the nearly 150 costumes needed for the show.

Garbage contract extension proposal sweetened with 3-year rate freeze offer

A request for a three-year extension to the city's garbage hauling contract is being sweetened by an offer to freeze garbage collection rates over a three-year period.

Tracy hauler Steve Larson has offered to provide new automated-tipping garbage containers to all Tracy customers, in exchange for a three year extension to the present contract. The new 60-gallon containers will offer twice the capacity at the same rate being paid now.

This week, Larson improved the offer. Larson announced that he will not ask for any cost-of-living increases for the three additional years sought on the contract. The current contract, which runs through June 30, 2003, allows an annual cost-of-living increase, based upon changes in the consumer price index. He plans to present the new proposal to the Tracy City Council members next week.

New class to develop programming for school's Channel 7

Plans are coming into focus for a noon-hour cable television news program at Tracy Area High School next fall.

The student-produced program is to be aired over Tracy local cable television access Channel 7.

"The kids understand that we have some high expectations for this," said Steve Jones, TAHS English instructor who will teach a media broadcast class at the high school next year. The first-ever television broadcast class in school history is an early-morning offering for the coming school year. Eighteen students have registered for the 7:30 a.m. class. Jones expects another 20 to 25 students to be involved with Channel 7 programming as an extra-curricular activity.

"The interest in this from students has been phenomenal," Jones said last week, in an address to the Tracy Kiwanis Club.

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The seeds for the media class were sown last fall. The teacher was having a conversation with Mike Rose, a technician for American Cable (formerly Harmon Communications), the cable television provider in Tracy. Rose mentioned that the school could have a cable access channel. He said all school leaders needed to do was ask.

Jones needed no further encouragement. He asked. School administration gave the school channel their blessings. Faster than one could say "lights, camera, action," Tracy Public Schools was the holder of a cable television channel.

Once upon a profile . . .

Making sense of the new graduation requirements

Your sophomore son just registered for next fall's classes at Tracy Area High School. And, as suggested, you reviewed his selections.

The school's registration handbook tells you that students at TAHS need 24 credits to graduate and that the school starts counting credits in Grade 9. So far so good. Twelve credits down, twelve more to go.

You know that, beginning with the class of 2002, students in Minnesota need to complete detailed assignments called performance packages in 24 of 48 content standards in order to graduate. The High Standards, also known as the Profile of Learning, focus on what students know and can do, not on how many hours they spend in the classroom. While the Profile is a hot issue at the State Capitol these days, at least for now, it counts.

Leafing through the registration handbook, you notice that nearly every class is assigned a graduation standard. Some have more than one.